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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Garden ambassadors recognized for two decades of service

STILLWATER, Okla. – For a quarter of a century, gardening enthusiasts have volunteered their time and shared their knowledge at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University through the Botanic Garden Ambassador Program.
Garden ambassadors recognized for two decades of service

From left, Judy Henderson, Carol Solick and Joyce McKee recently were presented with their 20-year bricks to commemorate the trio’s 20th year of service to The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University. Also pictured is Laura Payne.

Four members who were recognized recently for completing 20 years of service to The Botanic Garden at OSU are Joyce McKee, Judy Henderson, Carol Solick and Merry Alexander, all of Stillwater. They were honored with a personalized brick on the Walk of Fame at the garden located west of Stillwater.

Laura Payne, volunteer coordinator at the garden, said these four ladies are an integral part of the success of The Botanic Garden at OSU.

“They are instrumental in assisting with getting the gardens ready in the spring and helping us maintain them throughout the season,” Payne said. “They staff our open houses, work on painting projects and play a vital role in public relations between the community and the garden. The service they so generously give to the garden is far beyond planting and weeding. Our ambassadors truly are the greatest advocates we have.”

McKee said she has always loved gardening and enjoys her role as an ambassador.

“This garden is a very special place – truly a hidden gem in our community of Stillwater,” McKee said. “It’s important for people to realize you don’t have to know anything about gardening to become an ambassador. The classes we take teach us what we need to know. I wish more people knew about this opportunity.”

Henderson has always enjoyed gardening, thanks to her mother.

“My mother was a gardener. It was in her genes,” Henderson said. “I love having this opportunity because this group of people is great. We’ve also been through a few hosts of Oklahoma Gardening, and they each have brought new ideas, which we all benefit from.”

The opportunity to learn new things is what Solick said piqued her interest in becoming an ambassador.

“I really enjoy the learning aspect we have,” Solick said. “We learn so much from the speakers we have each month. I didn’t really consider the fact I’d be here 20 years later, but the garden is an amazing place and a wonderful resource for our community. Plus, what we learn here also helps us in our own gardens at home.”

Payne said she is very appreciative of the effort all the ambassadors put in for the betterment of The Botanic Garden at OSU.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn so much from our ambassador group. I feel truly blessed to have these people in my life,” Payne said. “We have some ambassadors from the very first group in 1994 who are still very active in their role. I applaud these individuals who have been committed to the garden for so many years.”

Gardening enthusiasts, and those who are interested in learning more about gardening and becoming an ambassador, simply need to go to The Botanic Garden at OSU and fill out some paperwork. The new class begins in January and will meet the last Friday of each month through October.

For more information, contact Payne at 405-744-4531 or via email at


 Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078